The B&N Podcast: Melinda Gates on How to Change the World

Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.

Many of the writers we speak with on the podcast are people who have made their names in the worlds of fiction, journalism or memoir, but in this episode we’re speaking with a writer who was working on changing the world long before she started thinking in terms of books. Philanthropist, businesswoman and global advocate for women and girls Melinda Gates is the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and the founder of Pivotal Ventures, a company working to drive social progress for women and girls. She joined us on the phone to talk about her new book The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World, a unique combination of memoir of her work trying to address the challenges that face ordinary women around the globe — and an audacious analysis of how a change in the way we think about advocacy and women’s rights can unlock startling possibility for change. She spoke to us on the phone from her office in Seattle just before The Moment of Lift was published.


A debut from Melinda Gates, a timely and necessary call to action for women’s empowerment.

“How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.”

For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world. As she writes in the introduction, “That is why I had to write this book—to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live.”

Melinda’s unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention—from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world—and ourselves.

Writing with emotion, candor, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another.

When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.

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